Distributor Owners

If you own a distributor in the promotional products industry, we should talk.

My name is Bill Smith, Jr. and I’m President of Brown & Bigelow. Feel free to contact me for a confidential, no obligation discussion of your business.

In anticipation of our discussion, I would like to share some information with you.

According to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), there are more than 22,000 distributors in the promotional products industry. Here’s how they break down by annual revenue:

Over $30 million: 40
$10 to $30 million: 139
$5 to $10 million: 199
$2 to $5 million: 657
Under $2 million: 21,807
Total Distributors 22,842

If your company’s revenue falls in the upper categories, congratulations! You obviously did not get there overnight. No doubt, you spent years building your business. Maybe you’re thinking about retirement or transitioning your business to the next generation. Or, maybe now is the time to consider selling your business.

If you own a distributor whose revenue level exceeds $2 million, you can see from the data that you have just emerged from the pack. Out of more than 22,000 distributors in the industry, there are only a few more than a thousand that make it north of $2 million in revenue.

$2 million in revenue seems to be the point when many owners become “crazy busy”! You arrive at the office early to make sure the invoices go out on time; you make a sales presentation in the mid morning; you negotiate open account with a vendor after lunch; and you collect a delinquent accounts receivable in the afternoon. Sound familiar?

As you grow, you have resources to hire staff to perform some of these business functions. But then you spend your time managing people. You may find that while you love to sell, you only spend about ten percent of your time with customers. This is when you say, “there has to be another way!”

Well, there are several options:

  • You could merge with a distributor of an equal size;
  • You could become a franchise operation;
  • You could maintain your independence and send your orders through a national order processing service provider;
  • You could sell your business to a national distributor.

If you are pondering the last option on the list, we should definitely talk. There are a number of reputable national distributors who are buying smaller distributor around the country. You owe it to yourself and to your family to investigate all of them.

Here are a few of the advantages Brown & Bigelow offers:

  • You can keep your existing office and staff intact;
  • You can continue to process and to invoice all of your orders in your own office under your direct control;
  • You can maintain all of your relationships with vendors and with multi-line reps.

On top of these business advantages, Brown & Bigelow also offers the most competitive compensation structure in the industry.

Call me. Let’s chat.